Currently it seems the number one issue being debated among Democrat candidates for the Presidency is the issue of Medicare For All. That said, what seems to be left out of the equation is that the current Medicare program for people over 65 (including me), does not pay all the medical bills, but usually takes care of about 80% of health care expenses. The other 20% can be taken care of by a Medicare supplement purchased from a private company.

In my case the combined public and private programs pay for all my bills and at the age of almost 76,there is a bunch of bills.

I first met Joe Biden when he ran for President in the mid 80s.I was very impressed then and still am. Joe didn’t attract me because I’m a guy with a few college degrees.No, he attracts me because for my first 12 years in the job market I was an apprentice and then juryman butcher. By the time I left the trade (which got me through college plus the GI bill) I could cut up a four quarter or hind quarter of beef three different ways. I think about all the guys and a few women I worked with over the years and in my view Joe is THEIR candidate. He is down to earth, he talks their language and Trump is afraid he can pull his base away from him and I am certain he can. He has been through hard times (loss of first wife and two children. He is grounded, honest and a great caring person as well as having a vision for the working class, which is currently being left behind.

One thing that is not talked about very much, but tends to be a problem for many couples, when one has the disease and the other takes on the roll of caregiver, is the stress that new relationship can create between the parties.

Almost with all married couples a division of responsibilities exists. In todays world there seems to be no set program of responsibilities, but even so each party does take on different duties. When one of the parties acquires dementia it is quickly apparent that dementia does not stay in one place but moves around and eventually decline becomes evident. This decline has the propensity to disrupt each party’s responsibilities and that in turn can create tension.

On Friday March 15 the New York Times ran an article by Pam Belluck that really caught my attention. It was titled “Could Lights and Sounds Help People with Alzheimer’s? They Worked in Mice”. As one with the disease, any article that posits a possible cure is certainly worth reading. A quote from the article is as follows “A new study led by an M.I.T neuroscientist (Li-Huei Tsai) offers tantalizing promise.

Currently under consideration by the Iowa Republican controlled legislature in this winter of 2019 is the reinstatement of the death penalty. The General Assembly abolished the death penalty in 1965 under the leadership of Governor Harold Hughes. Across the nation there are currently 30 states, which still allow for it and 20 who do not.

In my view there are many reasons to not reinstate it, but one of the most compelling reasons is statistics put out by the Death Penalty Information Center. Due to the increasing use of DNA, since 1992 more then 20 death row inmates have been exonerated and released who could have been killed. The problem is that DNA is many times not available; leaving one to wonder how many people various state governments needlessly have put to death. The Center has also published a list of 10 individuals who were executed, but possibly innocent. In addition another 39 were executed in the face of evidence of innocence or serious doubt about the guilt of the person.

                                    Why we are the way we are.

The Daily Democrat and the Starting Line are great publications and I feel privileged that they publish my musings, usually about something political, but not today.

Of late, I have been absorbed in a more philosophical issue, examining in my own mind, why people –human beings- act the way they do which is many times in contravention of their own moral imperatives. Every day when I read the paper, there is some nasty event caused by a human or humans. Sometimes, it is so tragic one must hold ones head and pray that it was not correct. The article a few days ago about the young woman who starved to death because her adoptive parents would not feed her and locked her in a room, while they went to Disney World with their biological children, was such an event.

  

                                

       

After a very harried week of pipe bombs being sent to current and former high-ranking government officials, it looks like a suspect has been apprehended. Law enforcement agencies including the Secret Service Protective Detail, the ATF, the US Postal Inspection Service, the FBI and many other state and local law enforcement departments were working full time to stop this home grown terrorism. On Friday morning, Oct.26 Cesar Sayoc was arrested in south Florida as the prime suspect. At the time, he was driving a van covered in political statements supporting the President and other posters in opposition to various Democrats. The 56-year-old white male had a criminal record, which included felony theft, drug and fraud charges.

The Trump administration would have you believe that the folks that slip over the boarder are murders, rapists and generally bad people. What statistics really show is that, only a vey few meet that criteria, and by percentage, dramatically less then our own citizenry. A very large number are families with children who are looking for a better life and are afraid of the violent gangs in their home countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, known as the Northern Triangle. A program started under President Obama called the Alliance for Prosperity was designed to improve the economy of the region and thereby slow the migration from those countries into the US. Although well meaning, it lost its initiative once the current administration came into power. In addition, from what I could read into the documents, the plan did not do nearly enough to stem the growth of gangs. Interestingly, a number of gang members got their training participating in California gang activity and returned to their home countries to practice what they learned about gang culture and criminal opportunity, especially in the drug trade. To give one an idea about how bad the countries in question are, USA Today recently noted that the murder rate in El Salvador was 104 per 100,000,the highest in the world. Further, the homicide rate was higher then any country in the world under armed conflict except Syria.

Thursday Sept.27 saw one of the most contentious Committee hearings, in many years, occurring in Congress. Luckily, it was followed by a day in which a semblance of bipartisanship showed it’s beautiful head. It was the work of Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and his friend on the other side of the isle Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware. Both Senators have been concerned for some time about the partisan bickering over the process to confirm a new justice to the US Supreme Court. Although both Senators are diametrically on different sides and have different philosophies, the thing they agree on is the process must be fair and work needs to be done to get to the truth of the allegations, which have come forth in the hearings.

   American Foreign Policy Destruction by the President

Although I am very much aware that most Americans do not have as their highest priority American’s Foreign Policy Agenda, instead focus on issues such as the economy, health care and other factors which impact them personally. However, Americans do need to understand that for over 70 years we have lived in a more secure world then anytime in history because of Americas role in world affairs since World War Two. Given our recent wars, and continued problems in the Middle East and elsewhere, that may be hard to grasp, but it is true.